Clinical hypnosis is a successful treatment technique for a variety of psychological and medical disorders, said D. Corydon Hammond, director of the Sex and Marital Therapy Clinic at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Hammond, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the U., is president-elect of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, the largest professional organization in the field.Hammond said clinicians using hypnosis are working in some of the areas medicine knows least about - sexual problems, alcoholism and drug dependency.

"Hypnosis is not something that is done to a person. Individuals do it to themselves and they cannot be made to violate their free will or commit anti-social acts. People differ in their receptiveness to hypnosis," Hammond said. "For some patients, however, hypnosis is the closest thing to magic, we find. They enjoy dramatic results with its use."